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Our guest on 18.01.2009

Uwe Ochsenknecht, Actor and Singer


Uwe Ochsenknecht made a name for himself worldwide in the German World War Two drama "Das Boot" and the media satire "Schtonk!". Whether it's action movies, fast-moving comedies or history epics, 52-year-old Ochsenknecht always shows his multifaceted and passionate talent. He is also a singer, appearing live on stage with his band. He's now presenting his latest studio album. A childhood choir singer, Uwe Ochsenknecht now has four kids of his own.

Uwe Adam Ochsenknecht was born on January 7, 1956 in Biblis in Hessen. He was raised in a strict protestant family, and as a child sang with his father in the chorus of the Nationaltheater Mannheim, an local stage in the area.

At the age of 15, Ochsenknecht was expelled from school. By the time he was 17-years-old he had received the equivalent of a basic high school diploma after attending night school. At 18, he was already studying acting at a famous drama school, formerly known as the Westfalian Acting School, in Bochum.

After several minor appearances on television and in the Hollywood production, "Avalanche Express" (1978), he had his lead debut in the German crime series "Tatort in 1980."

Oschenknecht first received major attention as a film actor when he played the role of Chief Bosun Lamprecht, in "Das Boot" directed by Wolfgang Petersen.

His breakthrough is said to have come with director Doris Dörrie's 1985 film, "Männer" or "Men" – an ironic satire about the battle between the sexes. In 1986, he received his first German Film Award, or Lola, as best actor. Oschenknecht then went on to work in a number of productions with Dörrie, including "Geld" ("Money") (1988), "Bin ich schön?" ("Am I Beautiful") (1998), and "Erleuchtung garantiert" ("Enlightenment Guaranteed") (1999), for which he received the Bavarian Film Award in 2000 in the category of Best Actor. He also worked with Dörrie on the television production, "Ein seltsames Paar", in 2004.

In 1990, he played the role of German Imperial Chancellor Otto von Bismarck in a three-part television series broadcast by Bayerischen Rundfunks.

One of Ochsenknecht's best-known role is that of forger Professor Knobel in Helmut Dietl's blockbuster 1991 comedy, "Schtonk!" The subject of the film is the media scandal surrounding forged diaries of Adolf Hitler that were passed off as genuine in a major German news magazine in the 1980s.

Ochsenknecht received his second Lola in 2000 for playing the role of a fanatical soccer fan in the film, "Fußball ist unser Leben" (1999).

Together with Joseph Fiennes and Bruno Ganz, he also played a leading role as Pope Leo X in an international production "Luther" in 2003.

At the end of the 1980s, Ochsenknecht began his second career, this time as a rock singer. Since then he's released five albums, on which he sings in both German and English.

In 1993; Ochsenknecht married his long-time partner Natascha Wierichs. They have two sons, Wilson Gonzales (born in 1990) and Jimi Blue (born in 1992) and a daughter, Cheyenne (born in 2000). He also has a son, Rocco Stark, 22, from his first marriage with Italian artist, Rosana Della Porta, 46.

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